I’ve reviewed so many vintage lenses in the last few years, but which ones do I actually use on daily basis? The video above and info below should finally answer this question.
My top 3 most used vintage lenses are:
I don’t want to repeat what was said in the video above, so here are my additional thoughts about each lens.
Helios 44-2 58mm F2 – The Character Lens. I’m not going to be original when I say this is my favourite lens. I use it every time I get a chance to! It really does make anything look good, thanks to its amazing character. I said it 100 times already, but here it goes again: Helios 44-2 is a must-have lens for any photographer or cinematographer! Considering the price of these lens, there is absolutely no reason not to try it!
Canon FD 50mm F1.4 – The Value-For-Money Lens. It might not be as “magical” as Helios, but it’s my real workhouse, that I use on most of my paid work (my review). The nFD (new FD) version of this lens might not look like the most solid lens in the world, but it reality it handles any abuse I throw on it and it’s actually more solid than the other 2 lenses featured in this post. As mentioned in the video, Zhongyi Lens Turbo II takes it to yet another level, turning it into a 36mm F1.0 Super35 lens, which is amazing for low light shooting and smooth bokeh shots. This amazing combo cost as little as $200 and FD 50mm F1.4 on its own will cost as little as $50 making it an incredible bargain!
Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm F2.4 – The Performance Lens. If you want a 35mm with a great performance that won’t break the bank, the Zeiss Jena Flektogon is for you. Great sharpness and contrast wide open, punchy, vibrant images, enough character for any kind of shoot. It might be the most expensive lens out of 3 but it’s definitely worth it. I noticed that there aren’t that many of them on Ebay.com, so check them out on Ebay.co.uk as there are always plenty of them in UK!
Like I said in the video, these lenses also represent the brands and types of lenses I use the most, so if you’d like to learn more about Russian lenses check these posts out. If you’d like to build an affordable set of Canon FDs, check out this post. I’ve just finished cine-modding my Zeiss set, so a separate post dedicated to these lenses is coming very soon too. For now, make sure to share your 3 most used lenses in the comments section below!
I try my best to make this website a great resource for people interested in vintage lenses for video use, so I hope you’ve enjoyed this & other posts. I sure hope they will help you save some money on your future lens investments too. I’ve joined the ebay affiliate program to help me run this website, fund my tests & lens giveaways, so if you find this content useful and would like to help me produce more similar content, please use the links in this post if you’re planning to buy one of these lenses or bookmark and/or use this link if you want to buy anything else on eBay.com or this link if you shop on eBay.co.uk. You will not be spending a penny more using these links, while still helping as eBay will pay out a small percentage from any purchase or successful bid, which in turn will support new content on www.vintagelensesforvideo.com. Thank you.
Let me just say that your page has bring a lot of help to those who are looking for those vintage lenses.
I have 1 question. I have that helios 44-2 but it seems that the notation for the iris is backward. At 2.8 the blades closes. It is the same on yours or I’m reading it wrong?
Mine has the same thing.
Here the explanation…
When will you post about the Carl zeiss Jena set? I am excited about seeing it.
hey mate, love your info on here. I have a a6500 and FD turbo booster. with cheap adapters can I mount the helios on the a6500 straight up ? what about on the FD speed booster?
Hi, And what about Helios 44-3?
I have one, but my one is a version that isn’t compatible with adapters unless modified, so I’m yet to try it, but I expect it to be almost identical.
Is the Zeiss set post done?
Not yet, but will be one of the next few posts 🙂
I can’t find any posts about the cine-mod on the Helios and Jena
I know this is not an original question, but i have an helios 44-5 , should i really buy instead the 44-2? whats the difference? Thanks in advance, love the blog!